7 DAYS MACHAME ROUTE
At 0800hrs meet your guide at the Hotel reception and depart to Machame Gate to register. Please note that you will need to know your passport numbers in order to complete your registry. You are advised however to leave your valuables including your passport, in the hotel safe, except for the amount in US Dollars that you will be budgeting to tip your support staff.
Trek from Machame Gate (1828m) to Machame Camp (3020m). The distance is 10.8km, over 1200m of elevation gain. Today can be quite tiring, particularly the final two hours.
Trek from Machame Camp to Shira Camp (3847m) on southern edge of Shira Plateau. It is normal to experience mild headaches on this day, which should be alleviated with paracetamol. Those choosing to take Diamox should begin their course this morning with half a tablet (125mg) in the morning and the other half prior to supper in the evening. Distance hiked today is 5.2km.
Breakfast. Trek from Shira Camp to Lava Tower (4642m). If the weather is good you can ask your guide to guide you to the summit of the Lava Tower (4688m) where the views are excellent. Lunch is normally taken at the foot of the tower.
Descend from Lava to Barranco Camp (3984m). Distance from Shira to Lava Tower is 7.0km. Distance from Lava Tower to Barranco is 3.7km. Arrive at camp, refresh (each person will be supplied with a bowl of hot water for washing), and enjoy dinner prepared by your cook with passion!
Start after breakfast heading to Karanga Camp, normally this is short day meant for acclimatization, if the weather allows on the way we have great views of Kilimanjaro.
We then take a steep exit up the Great Barranco Wall, this is great point on this route make sure you have your camera ready for good shorts, the trail continues down into the alpine desert of the Karanga Valley, finally we have a steep climb up to Karanga Camp
After breakfast, trek heading to Barafu Camp. The two peaks Kibo and Mawenzi can been seen from Barafu Camp. After a hot lunch at the Camp, The remainder of the day is spent resting as we prepare for the final ascent.
Around midnight (your guide will judge the time that is optimal for you, based on your pace thus far) quit camp for the assault via Stella Point (5752m) to the summit. Tonight is very difficult – particularly the final 500m – and you’ll need to commit to fight for the summit. You will inevitably feel like giving up and going to sleep. This is normal and can be overcome with perseverance.
When resting please ensure you only stand or sit and do not lie down or close your eyes. Please trust your guide; he is very adept at judging whether your condition will allow safe progress or whether you have succumbed to a potentially dangerous condition and to proceed will not be safe.
Nausea and headaches are normal and around a quarter of climbers will vomit at or near Stella Point. While very uncomfortable, these are not symptoms that are indicative of being at risk, per se. The onset of cerebral and pulmonary oedema are marked by distinctive early warning symptoms that your guide is capable of identifying. Please maintain regular dialogue with him and frequently update him on how you are feeling.
When you reach Stella Point you will sit and rest. At this point the body often thinks you have finished your uphill fight and will be trying to coerce you into giving up and turning around. While you may genuinely believe that you have already exhausted your reserves in reaching this point, this is actually very unlikely to be so.
Remember that you are only 143 vertical metres short of the summit, the journey from here is much less steep, and you have plenty of time for further pauses. If you do feel the need to give up at Stella Point please proceed towards the summit for just two minutes before making your final decision. In most cases this act of re-establishing momentum is enough to persuade the mind and body to co-operate with your intentions and you will ordinarily find hidden reserves for a final push, reserves that you were not aware you still had. Almost there!
Keep your thoughts positive, as your thoughts become your words,
Keep your words positive, as your words become your actions,
Keep your actions positive; as your actions become your destiny you can do it!
On the summit your guide will advise how much time you can spend there in consideration of your condition, your timings, and the weather. The brain does not function very intelligently at this altitude so please remember to take many photographs in all directions or you will probably regret not having done so at a later stage.
From the summit you will descend to Stella Point and from here your guide may opt to switch left onto the loose scree, A departure from the ridge up which you ascended. On arrival at Barafu your tents will still be erected and ready for you to rest an hour or so before continuing the descent after some refreshments. From Barafu you will usually descend to Mweka Camp (3090m) for overnight. If your guide judges that a shorter day will benefit you and preserve sore knees and ankles, he may decide to stop short at Millennium Camp (3820m) instead.
Distances on summit day
Barafu to Stella Point: 3.3km
Stella Point to Summit: 1.2km
Summit to Barafu: 4.5km
Barafu to Mweka Camp: 6.3km
Total = 15.3km
Descend from Mweka Camp (or Millennium) to Mweka Gate (1641m). Transfer from the gate back to Arusha. Overnight at Naura Apartment (Bed & Breakfast)
You should return back to your hotel sometime between 2 and 5pm, depending on whether you slept at Mweka or Millennium, and on your descent pace. Distance from Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate is 8.5km.